* Posts by ThatOne

841 posts • joined 9 Oct 2017

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Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

> missing a detail that she herself had also missed

Devil's advocate there - The difference here is that it wasn't her job to check those figures and make sure they were correct. Her job as opposition is to make the Finance minister's life miserable...

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Mixing up units?

> I'd think that scientists and engineers in both countries use(d) SI notation

Indeed, there can't be any unit confusion between French and Germans, they've been both using exclusively SI units for a long time (since SI units have been invented?).

UK is (AFAIK) the only European country having kept its quaint baroque medieval units alive, so it's pointless to try to accuse somebody else for this mix-up...

After 30 years of searching, astroboffins finally detect the universe's 'missing matter' – using fast radio bursts

ThatOne Silver badge
Coat

Re: Astroboffins. Really?

> ([*] I know, it should be 'toppermost of the poppermost')

Topperware?

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

> Or are these types not considering that radiation to be harmful any more?

Too old-fashioned. You know only modern stuff is dangerous, old/ancient stuff is always harmless (if not beneficial). Wisdom of the ancients and all that.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Not quite right

> Internet allows anybody and his friends to attempt to change history

At what point the attempt might be considered successful?

It happens often that "official" channels are saying things (most) people know not to be true, because they still know/remember the truth and the context. Problem is that after some time that context will have been lost (except for people willing to jump through hoops and do serious research), and we'll be left with the statements of the "official" channel still standing there, unchallenged. They will de facto become truth.

Note "the official channel" could belong to a lot of governments, past and present, since many of them were/are doing it to some extend, the current US president is just hugely, well, let's say "less subtle" about it.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Is it me or ...

> It is just a way to change all votes after they've been posted

And how would an urn prevent that? At some point you have to open that urn, after what everything depends on the honesty of the people involved just the same. (Not to mention the possibility of the simple outright lie (x counted, y announced, sorry, can't recount).)

Voting is a question of trust, people need to be able to trust the procedures used to be honest and not allow fraud (or at least make it very difficult). Depending on culture, this restricts more or less the choices of voting method, since what might be possible in a honest culture would be a catastrophe in a culture prone to fraud.

Unfortunately during the last century the societal ideal has slipped from "be upright and honest" to just "don't get caught"...

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

> the continual tweeting by Trump

A very important rule of propaganda states that anything you repeat often enough eventually becomes a generally admitted truth.

In the past this required the use of media and could get expensive, but nowadays Internet allows anybody and his friends to change history with a few clicks, for free.

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Ooh, fun!

> I don't think a lot of people take Twitter that seriously

Unfortunately many more consider it the place to get "real" information, due to the "from the horse's mouth" effect...

Help your fellow IT pals spruce up their virtual meetings: Design a winning background, win Register-branded gear

ThatOne Silver badge
Coat

Possibilities, possibilities

Well, what are the options?

The classic "I'm better off than you think" with the multi-million dollar mansion or private yacht interior, or some tropical island backdrop, a classic.

The "joke", with the leopard casually napping on some furniture behind you, or, if animated, the dimensional portal in the next room, half visible through a half-open door.

The "bad taste" with the decapitated child near some fallen sharp object in the background, suggesting some gruesome household accident just happened, but you didn't notice it yet. Works better if the others know you have kids of that age.

The "definitely NSFW", with the SM dungeon backdrop. Even more credible if you dress accordingly and introduce with "Sorry, I had forgotten about this meeting..."

And of course a couple weaponized animated ones:

The "Sleep! I command you!" one with the subtle yet eye-catching animation which after a couple minutes will have everyone staring blankly at his screen, quietly drooling.

The "I definitely don't want to be in this meeting" one with the epilepsy-inducing strobe effect causing everyone to have a seizure, or at very least cry like a baby after a couple minutes. Might cause lawsuits and/or change of employer.

Forget BYOD, this is BYOVM: Ransomware tries to evade antivirus by hiding in a virtual machine on infected systems

ThatOne Silver badge

> Are you not overrating "normal users" ???

You have a point there... :-D

But then again the "normal" normal users don't have anything worth blackmailing them about (holiday pictures?), so I guess the target of this system would be companies, which would (might (should)) keep a distracted eye on what's going on on their computer park.

I'm definitely not convinced that smuggling stuff using a carnival float is the optimal method. Somebody might notice it, and wonder what is is doing there, at this time of year.

ThatOne Silver badge

Still, installing a 70 MB program plus a 200+MB virtual machine to hide a 50KB virus is slightly overkill IMHO...

Also, normal users might wonder what the heck is VirtualBox doing on their computer all of a sudden. Hardly a stealthy approach. Which means that, even if the virus itself is hard to detect, the infection is pretty easy to spot, not to mention it might be possible for company administrators to simply block any new/additional installation of any hypervisor on company computers, thus blocking not only this, but any similar future virus.

India makes contact-tracing app mandatory for passengers as domestic flights resume

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Privacy

> uninstall as soon as you're in the air

...and go to prison as soon as you have landed.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: "Those who do not have a compatible phone"

> on a feature phone

Well, the article said that persons without the app will be tied with lots of red tape and buried under heaps of paperwork.

In other words, while you won't be forced to buy a smartphone, if you need to regularly leave your home, you will be strongly tempted to...

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: I still use Windows 3

I actually still have a real working computer running Win 3.11, a 486 DX2 66. (Well, it should still work, but I admit I haven't tried booting it in decades.)

International space station testing Wi-Fi links with incoming craft, with an eye on autonomous docking

ThatOne Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: "made available to the public"

Thanks! Didn't know it.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: "made available to the public"

> trundling around

It wouldn't go far in zero gravity... From the article I think it will be bolted near a window and allow people to use it to have a real-time look down "from space" (I for one would very much like that). Now why use a whole robot to do what a $10 webcam could have done? Marketing I guess. *shrug*

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Tea, the beverage or tea, the tradition?

From reading all the comments above I'm wondering if the British Need For Tea isn't simply cultural, and has nothing to do with the actual beverage.

How so? Lots of people here insisted heavily on the horrors they were served as "tea", which clearly shows many British don't drink "tea" for enjoyment, but only because it's the proper thing to do. As a British person you apparently have to drink something which at some point earned the label of "tea", and make clear to any bystander that doing this is the highlight of your day... Some kind of national identity exercise maybe?

I myself need a big mug of coffee in the morning lest I resemble something out of Night of The Living Dead, but I don't give it any thought at all, nor am I partial to coffee. It can be good strong breakfast tea too (no milk, no butter, no sugar, no salt, no tsampa, need I go on?). It definitively doesn't define who I am, and if during the day I drink a second cup beyond my morning caffeine intake, it will be for the pleasure of it, meaning carefully brewed quality products only.

Apple, Google begin to spread pro-privacy, batt-friendly coronavirus contact-tracing API for phone apps

ThatOne Silver badge

> should be self isolating but your bluetooth registers a contact with someone new

It is bound to happen, unless you self-isolate on a desert island. In an city apartment bluetooth is able to go through the walls and all your immediate neighbors and their visitors, despite not seeing you, will keep "contacting" you, isolation or not.

But on the other hand I guess it doesn't really matter, since the app only knows two statuses, "healthy" and "sick", so as long as you don't pull the "I've got Covid-19 myself" lever, you are deemed just another healthy citizen, even if you've potentially become sick and infectious.

False positive and false negative numbers will most likely be huge, but hey, we've been doing something!

NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments

ThatOne Silver badge
Pirate

Re: nobody should claim property

> you can own the resources you extract

That's all very fine, but they conveniently overlooked the extraction phase:

Imagine you are mining a rich asteroid (to keep things small), you have built your mining base on it, and you're extracting "resources you can own". Swell.

That's the kids' storybook version of space exploitation. Unfortunately reality will be a little different.

Imagine an enterprising competitor who notices you. What do you think will happen? And who will you complain to when the charred remains of your former mining base slowly drift away into the void?

We have already seen how this works: Great potential wealth + no laws always spells "might is right", and given the investments required, the gunslingers of tomorrow will be nation-states, who will take advantage of the lack of rules to take as much as they can from anybody who can't defend himself well enough.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: According to the dictionary

> The purpose of the Accords appears to be establishing a rough agreement [...] without having to make a formal treaty

Given how much respect international treaties usually get when they oppose specific interests, those accords won't be worth the paper they're written on if somebody finds something of value up there...

Even if most entities involved might respect them (as long as it doesn't cost them too much), there is bound to be some who will consider that the end justifies the means, and that they never actually agreed on anything which could diminish their profits.

In space nobody hears your victims scream.

Remember April 2020? It brought pandemic, chaos and an unseasonable spike in new domain registrations

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Possible explanations:

Sudden appearance of dozens of domains peddling Covid-19-related snake oil products?

Sudden appearance of typosquatting domains phishing for newbie remote users not yet used to online procedures?

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Now is not the time to reinvent the wheel or pick fights with Google and Apple.

> about giving two fingers to US tech companies in France and Germany

Which means their apps will at least have one real purpose...

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Just say no

> breaching the law across the whole EU in the process

So what? It's Google we're talking about. It would be the first time laws stop them from doing something profitable.

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Just say no

> I therefore suspect that their offering will be pretty much gold-standard. No back-doors, or dodgy dealings

True, but only in the beginning. Once the functionality is baked in the OS, it would be a crime not to use it, so, in a year or two, when people have gotten used to the idea that their phone is spying on them "for their own good" (somebody think of the children!), time would come for some additional features...

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

ThatOne Silver badge
Happy

Re: WTF ?!!

> This is unlikely to work against somebody wearing armour, so they've dug out the baton gun

I'm not sure that would work against somebody wearing real (metal) plate mail. They would dent his armor, but nothing more... After all plate is supposed to protect you from hits, and something able to penetrate it would definitely be lethal to an unarmored person.

I guess the police just grabbed the standard equipment for arresting somebody with a bladed weapon, without considering the armor part. I highly doubt they have any procedures for arresting people in medieval armor...

Vint Cerf suggests GDPR could hurt coronavirus vaccine development

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Piper paying

> what he says seems to imply that the EU's GDPR isn't a problem but that other legislation inspired by or derived from it may have unintended consequences

EU's GDPR isn't something they can fight anymore, but they can always try to prevent the disease from spreading to the rest of the herd. This starts by accusing GDPR of anything and everything: GDPR's secret agenda is to starve the honest god-fearing citizens (like *you*) (and take your guns away!), GDPR caused Covid-19, it's the reason of all those hurricanes, tornadoes and the great drought, and most of all it's trying to turn our children gay. Did I forget something?...

As a Google propagandist, Cerf is just producing the sound bite he's paid for. Covid-19 is very handy for this, as it affects everybody and you can claim anything around it.

Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes

ThatOne Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Android One

> If you have an andorid phone that's compatible with project treble (any phone that comes with orio or later) you can get the latest version of android 10 here

With two huge caveats. First you need to be an Android dev: "flash the system and vbmeta images over fastboot" doesn't sound like something common people might know how to do (and succeed in doing). And second you don't even know if it will work, or if you just have spent a couple hours bricking your device.

I had high hopes when Project Treble was announced, but clearly it was only a marketing stunt, as nothing has really changed in the phone industry. (Well, why would it? They want to make you buy a new phone, not help you keep the old one a little longer.)

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Android One

> For the cost of one of these phones in unlocked form I would expect a bit longer

True, but still not bad, given you're supposed to buy a new one each year...

Some (mostly older) people are still biased by the ancient system of devices which lasted for years and could even be repaired (!): Home appliances that lasted 20+ years, cars that lasted a quarter of a century, and so on. Nowadays everything is meant to be disposable, use it for a week and throw it away, it's not fashionable anymore.

Multi-part Android spyware lurked on Google Play Store for 4 years, posing as a bunch of legit-looking apps

ThatOne Silver badge

> The only real way to cure this is to vote with your wallet - as the consumer

And go where? Apparently iPhones aren't any more secure, they're just more expensive.

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Google could incorporate fake API's into Android

> Maybe google could add api's to Android which generate fake privacy related information

Not only they don't have any reason to want to waste money on this, but most of all it would be shooting themselves in the foot: Their whole business model is based on collecting and reselling "privacy related information".

US govt can talk about the end of lockdown, but Silicon Valley says 'as long as it takes' – and Twitter says 'WFH forever'

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Balkanization

> there are no bad managers, only bad employees

It helps that this assessment is made by the managers themselves...

ThatOne Silver badge

Balkanization

There is a definite danger that the otherwise coherent business entity slowly falls apart into little isolated work/task groups which are only coordinated and linked through their common management. Which means that the management in question needs to be extremely efficient, able to communicate and understand situations despite limited (in both time and capacity) communication channels, and able to transmit to each work group a global image of what the results should look like, and what their part is bound to be. Unfortunately, considering the Peter principle, people capable of conducting a symphony orchestra only using email and an occasional video chat might be rather rare...

TL;DR - Common workplace smooths out management shortcomings, as people are able to coordinate their work themselves. WFH depends heavily if not entirely on the management to stay on focus.

Meteorite's tiny secrets reveal Solar System's sodium-rich, alkaline liquid past – a clue to formation of life

ThatOne Silver badge
WTF?

"Solar System"?

> the acidity level of the early Solar System was low, and liquids were kept at around 80 degrees Celsius

Sounds like a warm wet place, and yet "solar system" is a term for the local star and the planets orbiting it. So what exactly is he talking about? There is mention of the asteroid belt, but I have difficulties imagining liquid water remaining warm (and not evaporating instantly) up there. What did I miss?

Briny liquid may be more common on Mars than once thought, unlikely to support life as we know it

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Health warning!

> Boiling meat for an hour does NOT sterilize it.

Technically you might be right, but my point still stands, you can not sterilize a human. We're wandering heaps of all kind of flora and fauna we mostly can't live without.

(It's not me who downvoted you BTW)

ThatOne Silver badge

> Who cares if it can support terrestrial life or not?

I think the point here was about the chances of biological contamination from Earth, something which is important if we ever plan to send humans up there. Sterilizing a machine is expensive but doable, but there is no way to sterilize a human (short of boiling it for an hour...).

Microsoft's Family Safety app drills into kids' screen time, browsing habits to help 'facilitate a dialogue'

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Somebody thought of the children...

They already did the voyeurism, now at last they can justify it with the old unbeatable "Somebody think of the children!" argument...

Think of the children, let us collect your family habits and preferences! Let your children grow up with a complete marketing profile, reaching back to their youngest years, a goldmine for marketing and political manipulation!

O brave new world / That has such suckers in't!

Quick Q: Er, why is the Moon emitting carbon? And does this mean it wasn't formed from Theia hitting Earth?

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Boiling off carbon

You're right...

ThatOne Silver badge
Happy

Re: Boiling off carbon

> you would expect that whatever deposited it here could plausibly also deposit it on the Moon

Earth has been covered for some time with carbon-based lifeforms, which would explain the major part of the carbon we find around here in some form or another.

Nothing similar on the Moon though, and while I guess some complicated isotope counting might allow to differentiate between local biological and stellar carbon on Earth, I think the sheer amount of biological carbon is bound to distort the issue: How do we know how much carbon is normal for a larger body of the inner solar system and how much is not, considering they all went AFAIK through a "hot ball of molten rock" phase, something no asteroid has?

There is apparently a lot of carbon on Venus, and since Venus is quite unlikely to bear carbon-based lifeforms, it might be considered the carbon standard for a bigger, once-boiled inner solar system body. The Moon has clearly a lot less carbon compared to Venus, which might indeed amount to what a twice-boiled body would have left.

Yes, that's pub science. So sue me!... :o)

So you've set up MFA and solved the Elvish riddle, but some still think passwords alone are secure enough

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: "... believe the humble password is a good enough security measure"

> requires high-strength protection AND a bunch of users with terrible memories

I have a terrible memory for that kind of alphanumerical stuff (for other stuff my memory is excellent). My solution to the problem was a Password Manager (Bruce Schneier's one). That way I only have to memorize one, strong password, that much I can handle...

I use it to also store all my important stuff (credit cards, passport numbers, tax IDs, you name it), and make copies of the database on several USB sticks I hide in my wallet, in my car, at some relatives' house, and so on. No cloud malarkey for me, but if my house burns down while I'm out shopping, I won't lose any of my important information nevertheless.

There's a black hole lurking within 1,000 light years of Earth – and you can see stars circling it with the naked eye

ThatOne Silver badge

> zipping across interstellar space at breakneck pace

Well, there definitely isn't any black hole in our solar system, and by the time (and if!) we have the technology to send anything to the nearest star systems, I guess lurking black holes will be just a minor charting annoyance...

It looks like you want a storage appliance for your data centre. Maybe you'd prefer a smart card reader?

ThatOne Silver badge
Coat

Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

> gung-ho use of chainsaws

No, that was a horror movie, not a french DIY program!

Brit magistrates' courts turn to video conferencing to keep wheels of justice turning

ThatOne Silver badge
Happy

Re: Misreading

> came to post the same thing.

Same here...

One is chance, two is coincidence, three is enemy action (or some such).

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

Re: Spotify declined to make an on-the-record statement...

> everybody wants to play music to a speaker that they can't possibly hear

True, like everybody wants to make a cup of coffee/tea at a place they aren't, or change the temperature of their homes when they are away.

Be careful, you are questioning the very foundations of IoT here.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks

ThatOne Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Ahhhh

Yikes, that would surely start the crackpots: The plague, a star falling, people marked by the number of the Google beast for Covid-19 tracking purposes...

Repent! Repent, and give me all your money you won't need anymore!

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

ThatOne Silver badge
Devil

> testing has been made available

Really available or politically available?...

I mean, can people really get tested if they need to, or is it one of these ongoing "we have everything under control, don't worry your pretty little heads about it" statements, meant to placate the great unwashed for a short while?

ThatOne Silver badge

> Are we expecting everyone who has a bit of a cough to make their way to a testing centre

Well, what would be the alternative? Everyone who feels under the weather claims a Covid-19 infection? That would be extremely counterproductive.

But I agree it all depends on testing, testing a lot and testing often. Ideally people marked infectious would had been tested so, and everybody they met according to the app would go to get tested too.

That's literally millions of additional tests, tests the system can't and won't handle. Which is the reason this app thing will never be anything more than a fig leaf, it assumes an ideal situation which simply doesn't exist. In reality it will be solely based on assumptions, presumptions (and other -sumptions) and as trustworthy as reading tea leaves.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

ThatOne Silver badge
Joke

Re: spare disk space

> my Smith Corona portable

Be careful when you say that nowadays...

Where the hell Huawei? It should be a bit easier to tell now the AppGallery has its first proper navigation app

ThatOne Silver badge

Re: Here Wego crippled on android phones

> not been able to get a satellite fix for navigation

Is your device antique (>1 year old)?

In this case it might be due to the GPS week number rollover, which happened in April 2019, borking older GPS devices which hadn't anticipated it.

Some of mine don't get a fix at all anymore, some only get intermittent ones. On my old phone for instance, it now finds and loses all GPS sats every 2-3 seconds: On, off, on, off. Some apps can work with that (with less resolution), other apps are totally lost. My car GPS works part time too: GPS fix for a while, no fix for another while, "while" having values of seconds to hours. Obviously the day this happened I was driving through an unknown part of the country, and it lost fix for half a day...

Royal Navy nuclear submarine captain rapped for letting crew throw shoreside BBQ party

ThatOne Silver badge

Be careful, you're using logic and might be fined!

But, acting as the devil's advocate once again, I guess the problem here is not any contamination risk, but simply that they disobeyed orders: The military is supposed to blindly obey orders. Logic and reasoning are not supposed to interfere.

GCC 10 gets security bug trap. And look what just fell into it: OpenSSL and a prod-of-death flaw in servers and apps

ThatOne Silver badge
Joke

Re: El Reg (or the readership) really has changed

> Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Well, not everyone is into chess, so it is helpful to specify what's special about that person... :-p

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